Uncle Sam don't scare

Published: Friday 15 April 2005

-- (Credit: Emkay)Birdsounds C hina

usa- made audio players installed at Beijing's international airport to scare birds off the runway have failed. The reason: they could not surmount the language barrier. The machines play sounds of predatory birds to shoo off birds from the runaway. But the Chinese birds were quite unruffled by the foreign squawks. According to Zhang Zhengwang, a bird expert from Beijing Normal University said this was not surprising. "Birds do have their own ways of communication and understand the sounds made by their natural enemies," he said.

The Chinese authorities have since recorded sounds of Chinese hawks into the machines. But they will have to wait and see if this works as the birds they are trying to get rid off are migratory and have now departed after spending weeks feeding on grass bordering the airstrip.

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